Mitzvah day

How Mitzvah Day gives a warm start to winter

By Rabbi Gideon Sylvester, November 17, 2011

'Now is the winter of our discontent", proclaimed Shakespeare's Richard III. Our rabbis agreed. Moving from an intense period of festivals and fasts, packed with commandments, to the first month of the winter which has no festivals at all, they felt deprived. They called this period Marcheshvan or "the bitter month of Cheshvan".

Now Cheshvan has had a makeover.


One day to change the world

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, November 11, 2011

We Jews need to get the message across that we want to make the world a better place, not just for ourselves but for everyone. Luckily, the wonderful Mitzvah Day is coming round again as the perfect opportunity to do just that. The brother of a non-Jewish friend of my daughter was talking about it today as if it was part of the national calendar.


Full Marks for Mitzvah Day ambition

November 3, 2011

In a further expansion of Mitzvah Day volunteering and bridge-building, a major focus of the 2011 event on November 20 will be forging bonds with Muslims, which founder Laura Marks hopes will be long-lasting.

Ms Marks sees Mitzvah Day as the "push" organisations need to get involved in interfaith activities - and the day coincides with the start of Interfaith Week.

"Obviously, anything possi


Mitzvah Day is out to lunch

July 21, 2011

Mitzvah Day is spreading its wings with a food aid venture to which 15 firms and community organisations have already signed up.

Friday November 18 will be Give Away Your Lunch Day, designed to forge ties between offices and local homeless charities.


Brighton rocks in Mitzvah Day project contest

By Jennifer Lipman, January 13, 2011

A cross-communal Brighton charity has been chosen as the winner of a contest for the best project on Mitzvah Day in November, when 18,000 volunteers performed good deeds across the country.

Helping Hands, which recently celebrated its 10th birthday, organised volunteers to decorate and package more than 100 boxes of cupcakes, which were distributed to hospitals, homeless shelters and Jewish Care's Hyman Fine home for the elderly.


Mitzvah Day thanks

By Katie Taylor, December 9, 2010

Pupils from Jewish schools went to Lambeth Palace to receive awards for their Mitzvah Day efforts in partnership with non-Jewish schools.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and Reform head Rabbi Tony Bayfield made the presentations to the four schools.

North West London Jewish Day School had partnered with Christ Church School and Ilford Jewish Primary with St Augustine's Catholic Primary to perform a range of good deeds.

Council of Christians and Jews' chief executive David Gifford described them as "young interfaith dialoguers".


Mitzvah Day 2010

November 29, 2010
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Britons are sent packing in Israel

November 25, 2010

Spreading its wings overseas, Mitzvah Day came to Israel with more than 100 British volunteers gathering at Kibbutz Shiller, near Rehovot, to pack clementines for Leket, a charity feeding the needy.

On average, Leket provides clients with two kilos of fruit per week. In two hours, the volunteers picked enough citrus to feed 750 families.

In a message of support to the volunteers, British Ambassador Matthew Gould wrote that by "playing a positive role in Israeli society, as you are today, you are sending a powerful message about Britain and about the relationship between our countries".


Hendon puts a number on its contribution

November 25, 2010

Putting its Mitzvah Day contribution in numbers, Hendon Synagogue calculates that 80 balloons were blown up by barmitzvah boys to decorate the community centre and 80 packages of fresh green vegetables were presented to the Gift charity.

Sixty seniors were taken to a tea party with food prepared by the community's youth and 30 Chanucah cards sent to IDF soldiers. Another key figure was 100 - the age of birthday celebrant Evie Mantz. Local MP Matthew Offord was among the special guests.


Cakes, cars, clothing and interfaith co-operation

November 25, 2010

Student support swelled the Mitzvah Day crowd at Brighton Reform's cupcake-wrapping session to 180. The cakes were delivered to patients at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, residents of Jewish Care's Hyman Fine House and needy community members. Cross-communal welfare group Helping Hands organised the event.

Progressive synagogue congregants participated in a gardening project in Brighton's Moulescombe area which encourages the involvement of troubled teenagers.